The Autism Suffolk centre is based in the small, welcoming and family-friendly town of Kesgrave, and is dedicated to supporting the parents and carers of children in Suffolk who are under the age of 14 and have a confirmed diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder – our tailored approach means whether the child is newly diagnosed or the family or carer have been supporting the child with a diagnosis of autism for some time, we will always adapt the help we give to the needs of each family.
From informative seminars to being part of the small community that has evolved from the service’s membership, allowing local families to share advice and personal experiences, we want to make the lives of each family we support more manageable and enjoyable.
Our services cover the whole of Suffolk County. We are part funded by Suffolk County Council but are also heavily reliant on fundraising efforts and donations to be able to continue providing our support. If you wish to support us to sustain the help we give to families, please get in touch with us.
Environment and facilities
Our office is set in a peaceful residential area and we welcome families to drop in to enquire about our service. If you have booked an appointment with us you can access our substantial lending library for a variety of books and publications, DVDs and sensory equipment that will provide additional support. Outside of our office we run numerous seminars, drop-in sessions and support groups in various locations, meaning our services are easily accessible wherever you live across the county.
We can also offer telephone or email support – our phone line is usually open between 10am to 3pm on weekdays, although you may leave an answer phone message outside of these hours and we will respond as soon as possible.
The environment we strive to create in any of our sessions or appointments is one of openness and understanding – you can speak to us about anything that concerns you and we will work together to develop strategies that work for you. We invite parents and carers to contact us themselves, and we also accept referrals from professionals with the family’s consent.
Leisure and learning activities
At Autism Suffolk our small but efficient team ensure that the service provides a variety of sessions and events across the county so that families are able to access the information and support they need more easily. The seminars and drop-in sessions we run on a regular basis not only give you access to timely, invaluable information from experts in autism, but contact with families with similar experiences, concerns and questions.
Activities and support we offer:
- customised welcome pack
- specialist family support workers
- free specialist NAS autism seminars for families
- monthly parent drop-in sessions
- quarterly e-newsletter membership
- well stocked lending library
- advice on the use of visual supports
- telephone and email support
- membership to our closed, registered family Facebook group Autism Suffolk (NAS) which has over 500 members.
Each year we deliver 16 days of seminars, including full day workshops where local services such as NAS branches, other support services and activity providers are invited to talk to parents about the support available in their area and address any questions or concerns.
We also run a number of Saturday programmes more specifically aimed at men (fathers, step-fathers, grandfathers, uncles, etc.) which is run at least once a year.
Our family support workers deliver specialist these seminars across the county, covering topics such as:
- understanding autism
- managing anger
- sensory needs
- understanding behaviour
- common toileting difficulties
- supporting siblings of children with autism.
Our drop-in sessions also operate in numerous areas, and offer support and advice to parents and carers on any topics they bring to the meeting, as well as a platform to meet and share experiences with other parents or carers of children with autism. Some sessions are held at children’s centres, in which case the child can also attend and benefit from the support.
At the Autism Suffolk centre, we want every family who benefits from our service to have the opportunity to grow and thrive, so we put them at the centre of the service we provide. The team consists of three part time family support workers. Each staff member is fully trained to support parents and carers of children with autism, and continues to build on their knowledge throughout their career. We all have qualifications from various backgrounds, each with a minimum of 9 years' experience in the field.
If you have any questions about our service, or if you want to book an appointment in our office or at one of our seminars or drop in centres, please contact us. Families can contact us directly or via a professional (with the family's consent).
Monday - Friday 10am-3pm
How to access our support
Most of our family support services are free to access, but please contact this service directly for information.